Location: Squamish is conveniently located halfway along the world renowned Sea to Sky Highway between the 2010 Olympic Winter Games host cities of Vancouver and Whistler.
Recreation: Squamish (pop. 16,000) justifiably bills itself as “The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.” Residents and visitors alike enjoy rock climbing, river rafting, bird watching, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, wind-surfing, and other signature outdoor activities, such as camping, boating, and fishing. Some say the tourism opportunities may be endless in this moderately small town nestled at the head of Howe Sound.
History: Squamish was originally inhabited by the Squamish Nation of the Coast Salishnative people, and their traditional territory encompasses all of Howe Sound. The first contact with European seafaring explorers occurred in 1792. Almost a century later, settlers began farming in the region, and forestry and mining followed as core industries. Originally named NewPort, Squamish became the southern terminus for the Pacific Great Eastern (Later renamed BC Rail) Railway after World War I where visitors from Vancouver could take a ferry and then catch the train to the interior of BC.
In recent years, the Western Forest Products’ Woodfibre pulp mill shut down operations and Interfor’s sawmill also closed. The railway and the Port of Squamish continue to provide much valued employment for the area. With the unsurpassed beauty of the surrounding area and the ever more popularity of outdoor recreation activities Squamish offers, tourism is increasingly becoming the economic mainstay today.